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September 09, October 09, November 09, December 09, January 10, February 10, March 10, April 10, May 10, June 10, July 10, Sept 10, Oct 10, Nov 10

November 30, 2009

Sailboat beached on Ft. Walton Beach
We went exploring this morning.  We wanted to see the sailboat, we noticed last night as we entered Destin Harbor.  It appeared to be on the rocks, but it really was on the beach.  There was a tent near by with a generator and an ice box.  There were "no trespassing" signs posted on the boat.  No one answered when yelled hello.  We are wondering what the story is.  They are on the beach right in front of land that is marked as part of Eglin Air Force Base. 

Another view of beached sailboat.
The boat is really buried in the sand.

Another view of the beached sailboat.
The anchor appears to be under the boat.

Another view of the beached sailboat.
It will be a major project to get this boat off the sand.  Probably the best way would be to lift it on a flat bed trailer and drive it out. With the storm expected the next couple of days, it could get buried deeper in the sand.

November 28, 2009

Our second day on the ICW was more of the same with unfinished projects, but we also began to see damaged boats and docks that had not been repaired, perhaps from tropical storm IDA.

Abandoned sailboat on the side of the ICW.
This poor boat appeared to be totally abandoned.

This motorboat was stuck outside of the ICW channel.
The white motorboat passed us in the ICW, then got stuck in sand in a shoaled area.  We were not far behind him and we also got stuck,  but we were able to work ourselves loose.  The blue power boat pulled the other boat loose. It turned out that one  of the green markers was missing which made appear this area was within the channel.   We were headed to Ft. Pickens (pictures are in our photo album).  On the way back to our chosen anchorage, we passed the barge below, which had also run aground.

Barge stuck on shoals in the ICW.
The Captain of this barge must have done the same as us, with the missing green he cut inside of the channel and got stuck.  He was blocking half of the channel, but traffic was able to go around behind him.  If you look close you can see the green can about midway down his side; the green can should have been on his right side. It took him some time to work his way loose.

Our crowded anchorage at sunset.
We shared this anchorage with about 10 other boats.

Por Fin behind us in the sunset.
Por Fin behind us in the sunset.

November 27, 2009

Abandoned marina project
We tied-up at this abandoned unfinished marina last night.  We pondered the story as we looked around at what should have been a thriving marina. Today as we traveled the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW)  we noticed many unfinished building projects, several marina sites and at least one business complex.  We wondered if it was the damage from the hurricanes in recent years or just the recession.  A lot of money has been invested that is  going to waste as these project just sit.

Unfinished marina
Looks like this would have been a nice facility. 

Snow Goose tied to piling in the marina.
Very protected with easy access to shore for Edie.

November 18-26, 2009

We will be staying here at the Turner Marina for the next week, while we get Snow Goose ready to sail.  We will tune the rigging and we have some repairs to make.  Also, we are changing much of our storage around to better suit our needs. And believe or not I have caught up the website and Picasa web albums.  Check out the album on stepping the masts.

November 26, 2009

Lisa, David and Jeremy
We were invited to have Thanksgiving dinner with Lisa, David and Jeremy on their boat Sage.  Unfortunately, their oven broke and fortunately ours worked.  They brought the dinner to our boat and cooked in our oven, then joined us on our boat for a great dinner.  Rich and I had a great time listening to their boat stories and appreciated the information they gave about the Bahamas.

November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving potluck at Turner Marine.
Turner Marine sponsored a very nice potluck at the marina.  Lots of good food, good company and a good time was had by all.

Rich working at the top of the main mast.
For several days I tailed for Rich as he climbed up and down the masts putting on parts, making repairs and varnishing.

Rich in the middle of the main mast.
Sanding away to prep for the varnish.

Rich working on the mizzen mast.
Sanding on the mizzen.

Rich hamming it up for the camera.
Rich hamming it up for the camera. (actually, she left me up there and I'm pleading to be let down)

Rich repairing the sail.
Rich repairing the genoa. As the old saying goes...a stitch in time saves nine!

Rich replacing stitches that had come loose.
Rich replacing stitches that had come loose. Sometimes, a good needle is faster then getting the sewing machine out .

November 22, 2009

Rich decided to put dividers in our main pantry storage. This allows us to get rid of the cardboard boxes in the pantry and it gives us additional storage space.  We're keeping busy,  but we probably won't get everything we want to do, done.

Rich clearing out the pantry.
Rich clearing out the aft pantry.

Rich prepared the wood dividers.
Rich prepared the wood dividers using his hand tools.

Rich installed the dividers using braces and brass screws.
Rich installed the dividers using wood braces and brass screws.

The first divider.
One divider.

The second divider.
Two dividers.

The third divider.
Three divider, four...

November 18, 2009

Snow Goose anchored in David Lake.
David Lake was a beautiful peaceful setting.  There were businesses on two sides of the lake, but rest was surrounded by trees and shrubs.  However, the water was so high the only available areas to land Edie were near the businesses.

Platform anchored in David Lake.
We anchored near this industrial platform that was in the lake.

Large equipment construction on David Lake.
It appeared that this business was producing large equipment.

November 17, 2009

Cabled train bridge.
When we came to this cabled train bridge; it  was already open, so we just motored through.  A few minutes later we heard another pleasure craft ask for the bridge to be raised. They were told the bridge was being tested and they would have to wait at least a half hour.

Side of cabled train bridge
This is the close-up detail of the bridge.

Floating roof
It looks like someone lost their roof to the storm waters.

Crane on the side of the river.
A really neat crane!

Construction site

November 16, 2009

Rich and I doing the happy dance - the last lock.
Rich and I doing the happy dance - the last lock.

Control building for Coffeeville Dam
The control building for the Coffeeville Lock.

Coffeeville Dam backwater.
The backwaters to the Coffeeville Dam.

The mooring cells for barges were almost under water down river from the Coffeeville Dam.
The mooring cells for barges were almost under water next to the Coffeeville Dam.

Turbulent water leaving Coffeeville Lock.
Turbulent water leaving the Coffeeville Lock.

November 15, 2009

Train and car brigdes next to each other.
When approached these bridges, the train bridge was already up, although we didn't need it to raise.  

Bridge below Demopolis.
This set of double bridges was below Demopolis.  The older  bridge with it's arches has more character.

This staircase ended in the water, the dock was completed submerged.
The water below the Demopolis Lock was about 20 ft above pool.  This is clearly evident in this picture; the stairs end in the water and dock is not visible. This scenario was repeated time and time again as we motored down the lower Tombigbee.  One good thing was the added water flow increased our speed by a  1 1/2 kts.

Demopolis Dam with water overflowing and turbulence.
After leaving the Demopolis Lock , the water was very turbulent. You can see the dam was overflowing.

November 14, 2009

Warning sign as we re-entered the waterway.
This warning sign prepared us for what was ahead.

Dredging pipes along the edge of the river,
First we saw dredging pipes along the side of the river.

Dredging crane in the river.
Then we saw a crane laying dredging pipe along the river.

Dredging equipment in the river.
As we came around a curve, we saw this barge along the side.  It carries the equipment to dredge the river. We spoke to the barge captain requesting permission to pass, which was granted. 

Dredging equipment at work.
As we passed the dredging barge, it started moving out to continue it's work.

November 13, 2009

Snow Goose anchored in Tombigbee River near Gainesville MS.
We motored up the loop of the Tombigbee River, just down from the Howell Heflin Dam.  We scrambled up the hillside, then walked across the field to go into town. The grass in the field was bent and there were deer tracks in the mud. When we were about half way across the field, a six point buck ran out in front of us across the field , under the bridge and disappeared in the woods on the far side. The deer passed us about 100 ft away and my camera was in my purse.

November 12, 2009

Waverly cut-off for visiting the Waverly mansion.
We turned into this cut-off to visit the Waverly Mansion,  It is a restored plantation mansion that is located in Mission Point Mississippi and is supposed to be accessible by water.   I really wanted to visit the site, but we got stuck three times trying to pull into the cut-off to anchor.

This marina is on a channel at the beginning of the Waverly cut-off.
This marina is on a channel at the beginning of the Waverly cut-off.  We tried to pull up to the sea wall to tie off, then we could have walked the half mile to the mansion.  It was not to be, we got stuck again.  Our guidebook had lied, there was not 20 feet of water in this cut-off.  Of course the guidebook is 14 years old, so things do change.

We passed these goats along the river and they paid no attention to us.
We passed these goats along the river and they ignored us.

November 11, 2009

Three motor yachts we were traveling with.
We had locked down with these motor yachts in the Glover Wilkins Lock.  We waited 20 minutes for them to make it to the lock. The day before My Way has to wait on us a couple of times. 

The fourth motor yacht we locked down with.
This is the fourth boat we locked down with Queen Anne's Revenge.  We met them on the Mississippi at Hoppies.

Motor yachts going to marina.
There was a commercial tow ahead of us at the Aberdeen Lock, so the motor yachts all decided to go into the Aberdeen Marina.  We tried to go into the Blue Bluff Recreation Area, but the channel was to shallow, so we went on to the lock and the lock master allowed us to lock down with the commercial tow - yeah!!

November 10, 2009

We contacted the Shoals Animal Hospital today for follow-up on Edie.  I emailed pictures of her wounds to Dr. Clopton and she said the wounds look good.  Edie is getting more active and perky.

Blue Heron on the inside of the lock looking for an easy lunch.
A Blue Heron inside of the lock looking for fish caught up in the lock water.  

Blue Heron inside the lock looking for fish.
He walked across the lock door and actually caught a couple of fish.  It was the first time we have seen a bird inside the lock.  Pretty ingenious.

November 9, 2009

Anna sitting in dinghy.
Anna sitting in the dinghy after collecting sand for Edie's litter box.  We are trying different things to get Edie to go on board.

Anna rowing the dinghy.
Anna decided to try her hand at fishing and wanted minnows as bait.  So she got into the dinghy and took off.

Anna trying to net some minnows.
She tried and tried to net some minnows, but was unsuccessful.  Eventually she gave up and tried fishing with a lure. First she had to learn to cast the line. At first she kept getting the lure caught on the line or on the rod, but eventually she began to get the hang of it.  It always helps when you have the fishing reel right side up.

November  8, 2009

Snow Goose tied up to a steel barge dock along the side of the divide cut.
Rich was dying of curiosity to see what was on the other of the Divide cut walls.  When he saw this dock on the side of the channel, he pulled over, climbed up and disappeared leaving Edie and I behind. He was gone a good while, only to find just flat fields on the other side.

Looking up at Rich on the side of the barge dock.
The top of the barge dock was about 8 ft. higher than the deck of the Snow Goose. Rich had to stand on the stantion to climb up.

November 7, 2009

We shared Zippy Branch with four other boats.
These are three of the four boats we shared the Zippy Branch anchorage with.  We motored to the back of the inlet to the  same place we anchored before.

The boat house is still for saile.
The boat house is still for sale.  Rich is practicing driving the dinghy standing up. We here it is common practice in the Bahamas to avoid getting wet.

Paddle boat at the Florence Marina.
On Saturday morning, the paddle boat took out a group of people as we were leaving the marina.

The Florence Harbor Marina.

We left the Florence Marina after taking Edie back to the vet to have her wounds flushed again. The folks at the marina are great!  Tom recommended a good vet and the marina provides a courtesy car to transients.  The manager's name is Eva and she is very friendly and helpful.  Florence has many attractions including many local artists.  We visited Helen Keller's birthplace in Tuscumbia and went to First Friday in Florence. In Florence, on the first Friday of each month many of the shops on Court St stay open later and many local artists and craftsmen set up booths along Court St.  Our most interesting stop was at the studio of Tim Stevenson, a nationally known local artist.

November 5-6, 2009

We got up early and took Edie to the Shoals Animal Hospital.  The Vet that took care of her was Dr. Nicki Snipes, she was very good with Edie and Edie was very good for her although she was in pain.  Edie needed to stay overnight at the hospital to receive intravenous antibiotics. They took very good care of her and she is healing slowly.  Each day we flush her wounds with antibacterial solution, give her pain medication and antibiotics.  The Vet said it could take as long as three weeks for the wounds to heal and close.  Our delay in having her treated by a vet allowed infection to take hold in her system.  If your dog is bitten by another dog, you always need to have the bite treated as soon as possible.  Our second blunder was in giving Edie baby aspirin for pain.  It irritated her stomach lining and caused her to vomit.

Rich cleans Edie's wounds twice a day while I hold her head and speak softly to her.
Rich flushes Edie's wounds twice a day, while I hold her  head and speak softly to her.

Our pictures of the visit to Florence are on our Picasa Album.  I am behind in updating the website due Edie's injury.  In addition we are having a lot of trouble with our ATT connection.  Many times we can connect to ATT GSM, but we are unable to get on the web.  It is very frustrating and I am working with ATT to resolve our connectivity issues.

November 4, 2009

Early Saturday monring we are leaving heading toward Florence.
We're leaving Decatur to heading toward Florence.

We passed the boat Por Fin heading to Decatur as we were leaviing.

We passed the Por Fin; they were heading to Decatur to visit as we were leaving.

The Joe Wheeler Lock and Dam.
The Joe Wheeler Lock and Dam is named after a famous Confederate General.  My father was also named after General Joe Wheeler.

Inside Joe Wheeler Lock.
This is the gate to Wheeler Lock from the inside.

Migratory Pellicans flying low to the water.
Migratory Pelicans flying low to the water.  There were long groups of the Pelicans flying across the lake. It was interesting to watch.  Their reflection in the water made it seem as if there were two lines of birds.

Turtles sunning on the remains of the old channel.
There several turtles sunning themselves on the remains of the old channel wall.

The inside of Wilson Dam at dusk.
Although we reached the Wilson Dam about 3:00 p.m. we has to wait two hours before we could lock--in .  It was getting dark by the time we left the lock. We locked in with two other boats and all of us were headed to the Florence Marina.  We needed to stop to take Edie to the Vet as her wounds were not healing.

November 1-3, 2009

The French family homestead.
This is the home that my father grew up in.  My grandparents bought the house when my dad was about five years old.

A closer view of the French family home.
As a child I spent many hours swinging on the porch swing on the left side of the porch and sitting on the glider next to the front door.

This Black Walnut tree and I are intimately acquainted.  When I was 12 years old, I hit the tree head-on with my cousin's Honda 90 motorcycle.  I survived with only my dignity injured.


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